Hot soup isn't just for fall or winter; it can be a wonderful (quick and easy!) summertime food as well. Yep, I know, a whole devoted community to "cold soups" meant for summer - it's just not for me. It's like cold pizza - also, not for me. Some folks like it, and that's great for them. I need warm at the very least ; ).
Back to this soup; wonderfully colorful, warming (from the spices) and lightened by the acidity of the limes, you will reach for this bowl of Asian flavored goodness time and again. Warm is perfect, but you might even like it cold (who knows?)
Sustainability Spotlight: Coconut milk is derived from the coconut flesh of the fruit; shredded and mixed with boiling water, it is then strained and becomes a rich and creamy liquid alternative to cream. The product has been touted for its health benefits such as the potential to aid in weight management, reduce inflammation, and contribute to the immune system's response to fighting off viruses and bacteria (Healthline.com). Widely used in Asian and Indian cuisine, coconut milk has started to grace our tables in America via "fusion" dishes such as bisques, and utilized in smoothies and desserts.
All that said, there are arguments about our "over sourcing" of ingredients for coconut (valid) as the ingredients derived from this plant grow in popularity. Not only are coconuts themselves consumed, but coconut water, coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut oil (both refined and unrefined), and coconut milk / heavy cream are increasing in viability and availability in the United States. That means, more of the crop is being produced, harvested and processed based upon the increase in demand.
However, I look at coconut milk as one of many more sustainable options for a home cook because it diverts some of our consumption of dairy products (since coconut milk is a plant-based milk alternative). That incremental change in our homes and in our lives is what it is going to take for us to earn environmental sustainability long-term. Feather in coconut milk along with oat, almond or soy milk and you have a great base to choose from that doesn't include dairy milk for all your recipes!
2 tsp avocado oil
1 cup oyster mushrooms (sliced)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
(1) 1 x 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (grated)
4 garlic cloves (sliced thin - mandoline; setting 1)
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup filtered water
1 cup coconut milk (Note: use up the rest of the can by making my Fudgy Chai Latte Brownies)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp white miso
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 green onions (chopped)
1 handful cilantro
2 limes (1 zested; both juiced)
salt & pepper (to taste)
Heat a 5 quart Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, add avocado oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the oven. Once it shimmers, add mushrooms and bell pepper with a pinch of salt. Saute ~5 minutes/
Add ginger and garlic and saute another ~1 minute until fragrant; add another pinch of salt and some black pepper.
Next, add sriracha through brown sugar and stir to combine thoroughly. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for ~10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in onions, cilantro & lime zest plus juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve in bowls with extra cilantro
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie